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why are old songs good songs?
Posted: 01 May 2008, 15:11
I was just emailing my friend Mark, and I started pontificating on this question:
Why is it that the songs of our youth, the songs that we listened to during those formative years of our music development, are the ones that we still love today? Let's face it, we all listened to some pretty godawful crap in our youth, yet I still like listening to it today. (ministry's "with sympathy" or pretty much all the early depeche mode qualifies here for example)
I often even prefer listening to old songs that newer better written songs. Why?
If I were to listen to those same songs today for the first time, I'd think what a load of crap it is and turn off the stereo. Is it just conditioning? Have I listened to those songs so many times now that they're sunk in too far? Was I too dumb to know what good music was back then and developed bad habits? Do I secretly long for a return of those years and the music just conjures up the memories that I want to relive? (my teenage years really weren't that great-I enjoy my life far more now than I did then, so I can't believe it's that simple.)
Why also does the door close on our tolerance of music? At what age does the trap start to fill up and I no longer care to hear some of the music that I once loved? How do some people completely toss out all of their old music collection and never look back?
Another example. I have always loved bauhaus. I've listen to their stuff for years and years. When they re-formed and went on tour, I couldn't have been happier to finally get a chance to see this band that I'd loved for so many years. Then I saw them play, and something hit me. They were doing the song "fear of fear" and I got to thinking to myself, "that is the dumbest fucking bassline I have ever heard" and then Daniel Ash came out and did that jazzy, screachy, saxophone over the top of it. It was horrible. Absolutely, dreadfully horrible. Yet I loved every second of it. I thought to myself, if this were a band I'd never heard of before, I'd be walking out of the venue right now. Yet merely because I'd had that song so ingrained in my head for decades, it was not only tolerable, but totally enjoyable? wtf?
ok, maybe these questions are too abstract and rhetorical for anyone to answer. I figured here would be a good place to perhaps expose some new insight. What strange beasts we are.
Posted: 01 May 2008, 22:11
That is such a great question! I am hopelessly stuck in 1980s post-punk progressive pop. My current fixation is Howard Devoto's Jerky Visions of the Dream (or Magazine and and anything else with John McGeoch on it). I think these songs hold a warm spot in our hearts because of the memories and feelings they bring up. Of just discovering music. Something that was my own. Of discovering our sexual interests. Of drugs. Of money. Of transitioning to adulthood. To be honest, when I play some PD or other groups from that time period, it takes me right back to a point in time. Maybe not the best times in my life, but MY times. To be honest, there are no songs from that period I can't listen to any more. In fact, one of my favorite groups from that period was China Crisis (alright, a guilty pleasure). Funny, but I was driving to work this morning listening to Tones on Tail's Rain (one of my favorite groups from that period) and I had a similar thought: what cheesy, spacey synths. But you know, I love that song and those synths. As for Fear of Fear, I love that sax solo. How many punk/goth groups used a sax? I am totally biased. The music from the late 70s/80s was phenomenal and moving, and nothing has really done it for me since then...the last "new" music I bought in the last 12 months was Maximo Park's Earthly Pleasures and Interpol's Our Love to Admire. But most of my time is spent collecting digital versions of 80s manna: Higsons, Polyrock, Suicide, Medium Medium, A Certain Ratio, Delta 5, etc...
San Jose, CA
Old songs / new songs
Posted: 02 May 2008, 18:03
I can only speak for myself...being 43 years old now (Gulp!)...but why I still love listening to the old stuff...is....because I really do think the bands were better....and by 'better' I mean...more original, more experimental, and willing to try something different. Turn on MTV tonight, and if by some miracle they are actually playing music (these days its all 'reality'programmes) see if you can spot any bands that sound like PLAY DEAD or like the SEX GANG CHILDREN ? Then, see how many sound like Green day....? Yes the bands of my youth could come out with some real crap (Killing Joke's 'Me or you' springs to mind) but fair play to them for actually trying it...Thing is....I used to Love Killing Joke, but I hear their new stuff now, and to me it sounds like badly copied RAMMSTEIN and thats why theyve lost it...they're copying....they were much better when they produced their own original punk funk sound. Actually it was at a Killing Joke gig that I saw PLAY DEAD who were the support act at Digbeth Civic Hall Birmingham...and they blew Joke of the stage in my eyes...and i'd never heard of them before that !
Anyway...thats how I feel about it.
Posted: 13 May 2008, 13:41
Stuck in the 80's. I think somebody should give a band that name. But it's a question that I get asked all too often. I feel that a lot of it has to do with age, I listen to a lot of music and try to make the effort to keep up with things, but the older I get the more that I'm hit by that "heard it all before" sensation.
Everything, or most things today have a disposable quality, that I know will not leave me with any special memory or sense of time. I can still remember where I was when I first heard Anarchy in the U.K. and thought what the fuck was that. Many songs by numerous people have had that effect on me but not for a very long time.
Music reflects society in many ways, it becomes fasion, and so gets regurgatated. I hear bands who are trying to emulate what happened in the 80's, but their young guys who are far too young to have been around then. I find this most amusing.
I guess the reason I find those songs so powerful is simply that they are attached to a memory and not just a piece of music standing alone.
P.S. Lets talk bollocks more often.
Posted: 13 May 2008, 17:55
I'll be 50 in August and I find very little of what's happening today of interest. It is
an age thing - handle it.
My musical awakenings go further back than what I would guess the majority on here experienced, Genesis (Gabriel era) were the first band that really altered my life, prior to that I was into Mott The Hoople and Roxy Music, no bad thing in itself, but when I heard that opening blast of Mellotron on Watcher of the Skies from Genesis Live - my life was never the same. Devotion to The Pink Floyd, Yes, ELP, Gong and Todd Rundgren but mainly King Crimson soon followed. I was very sceptical about Punk Rock until I realised I actually liked the music, the punks just looked and acted daft, Mahn!
I then got into the Liverpool Explosion - Bunnymen, Teardrop - and am still a fan of that early stuff to this day. It wasn't until I heard the Jesus and Mary Chain on John Peel (natch) that I felt a second rush, sadly that only lasted for the Psychocandy album. I had to wait another 3 years till I saw The Sisters Of Mercy on that now legendary OGWT session for my life to do another 360. Darkness descended, my world was never the same.
~:scene shifts to leaves of a calendar flicking off to denote passage of time
The Thrash Metal scene of the early 80s also excited me, still does but I find I can't be arsed with new product from Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax - they had they're moment, they should've burned twice as bright for half as long.
Ministry were the next punch up the bracket! RevCo and NIN I soon added to my roster.
Since then I got this interweb thingy and spend 90% of my time finding rare shit from Genesis, The Pink Floyd, VdGG, Led Zeppelin etc. Having said that, I'm really growing into the last two (free for download) NIN albums and I haven't enjoyed them since The Fragile.
I'm sure there is some good new shit out there us old farts would like, it's just very hard to find amongst the Linkin Park/Evanessence bollocks.
what it used to be!
Posted: 15 May 2008, 09:29
If I am realistic. I dont believe I actually like any bands since Damage Manual raised there heads that I like enough that would go out and buy their album. I only picked up on DM beacuse of Chris Connelly and Geordie.
Killing jokes last album, and the one before were crap.
I look forward to a gravity kills reformation
Apart from that what can I say, Fad Gadget is having another turn in the car....I wanna breath lead free!!!
Posted: 15 May 2008, 23:04
I couldn't help but notice that my musical tastes are similar to most of the members of this board, yet I am half the age of the average member. When I was in high school, I really disliked the popular/recycled nu-metal, pop-punk, and emo rubbish. I could not absorb any of it. I wasn't raised on Play Dead, Southern Death Cult, early Ministry, The Sisters Of Mercy, and early Killing Joke ... and so on. I had to discover these things on my own, mainly through the Internet or (by chance) picking up a random compilation with one of these groups on it over the years. I am drawn to something in the sound of the music from the later 70s and throughout the 80's and I'm not sure what it is. I'm not very fond of the majority of the material produced during the 1990's and 2000's so far with only a few exceptions. Maybe the music only appeals to an individual with a certain special aspect to their personality, whatever that aspect is.
Posted: 16 May 2008, 15:29
Posted: 16 May 2008, 16:26
Posted: 24 Jun 2008, 14:52
I blame John Peel.
Things always sounded better if he'd introduced them.
He gave me a love of folk, Reggae, Ska & what was to become 'Goth' just because he was the only dj playing punk.
And then I went to see Dead Kennedys...and UK Decay were supporting!!!
The rest is history.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNs__2OD12U
Posted: 05 Sep 2008, 17:04
Wow! i had forgotten about the Dead kennedy's UKDecay tour.
I went to the gig they played at a very small club called the boat club in Nottingham. I think it was in 1980 and i was 15.
And it was a bloody good gig as well
I too have become bored with music today. I don't know if this is to do with my age (42) or if music is too mass produced and packaged for a wider audience as possible so as to make as much money as possible.
I now get more of a kick, and gain a deeper sense of satisfaction, out of travelling and either living or visiting places i've never been to before ( however, i do think my love of travel started with hitching aound the country to see PD)
Posted: 05 Sep 2008, 17:46
Im 40 and stuck with those days. To be honest if i could still grow a mohican i probably would, (i opt for the total removal of hair with a razor and the furniture polish to shine up the dome ho ho). I still wear band T shirts and Doc Martin boots, but wear a shirt and tie for my job. Im the Clark Kent of the punk world. I never fitted in with fashion and still do not, and its not a money thing, i guess if i wanted good clothes i could afford them. Those days shaped me now and i wouldnt have it any other way.
Ive got four CDS in the car. 2 Play Dead and 2 Chameleons and thats all ive listened too for 6 months! I agree with Steve in that music is linked to memories, but nothing new has emerged for years that i thought was worth investigating further. I think Supergrass is the most up to date thing i would give house room too.